Washington May 14, 2016
You’ll Want To Visit These 8 Houses In Washington For Their Incredible Pasts
Washington has some stunning historic homes, and many of them have been beautifully preserved. In a state with such rich history, it’s no surprise that some of these houses come with interesting back stories. Here are a few of our old houses that would be amazing to visit now, not to mention many years ago.
1. Carbonneau Mansion, Yakima
This beautiful mansion is now Findery Floral and Gift in Yakima, but it used to belong to a woman named Belinda Carbonneau. Belinda was born in Ireland but became a jet-setter and a businesswoman, selling silk and hot water bottles to miners in Alaska. A broken heart is what brought her to Washington—Belinda’s taste in men wasn’t as good as her business sense, and she married a con man named Charles Eugene Carbonneau. Charles eventually left Belinda (with some of her money), and she moved to Yakima to be with her family. In 1909, she had this mansion built, where she lived until she moved to Seattle in the mid-1920s. She died in 1967 at 95 years old.
2. Collins House and Granary, Uniontown
The Collins House certainly has staying power. Michael Ruddy built the main unit of this house in 1870-1871, and Orville M. Collins bought the property in 1884. Four years later he added two extra rooms to accommodate his growing family. Other than a few general repairs, there have been no major alterations since that addition. Amazingly, the house remains standing and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
3. Thornewood Castle, Lakewood
Thornewood Castle is a true labor of love. Chester Thorne, one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma, bought a 400-year-old Elizabethan manor in England for his wife, Anna, and had it shipped brick by brick to the USA. The castle has 27,000 square feet of living space and beautiful gardens on the property. Chester, Anna and their daughter (and eventually her family) spent many happy years at the castle, and now it is available to rent as a B&B or for weddings and other events.
4. EJ Roberts Mansion, Spokane
The Roberts Mansion is now a hotel and event venue in Spokane’s Browne’s Addition neighborhood, but it was once the home of a successful civil engineer named EJ Roberts. EJ completed the longest expanse of railroad in the shortest period of time of anyone in the country by the age of 28. He and his wife, Mary Tracy, had five sons and a daughter. Their descendants still live in the Spokane area.
5. Stimson-Green Mansion, Seattle
C.D. and Harriet Stimson (and their two children) were the original owners of this eclectic house, which they had built in 1901. In 1915, it was purchased by a local businessman named Joshua Green and his wife Laura. Josh and Laura raised their three children here, making very few changes to the home. Laura Green died in 1975 at the age of 101, and Joshua only died three weeks later. He was 105.
6. Bigelow House Museum, Olympia
It’s now a museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the early history of Olympia and the Washington territory, but the Bigelow House was once the home of a pioneer lawyer named Daniel R. Bigelow and his wife, Ann Elizabeth, a school teacher. The Bigelows played an important role in early Washington history, public education and women’s rights. This is the oldest residence in Olympia.
7. Picket House, Bellingham, WA
Bellingham’s oldest house was built in 1856 by George Pickett, a US Army captain who later became a general in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. Picket lived in the house with his wife and son until he left to fight in the Civil War. He is best known for his participation in the Battle of Gettysburg.
8. The Perkins House, Colfax
The founder of Colfax, James Perkins, built this house in 1886. It has since been renovated and restored, and it’s now the site of the town’s annual ice cream social every June.
Have you been to any of these historic houses?